Norwich star Martell furthers ring education after full-blooded victory
- Credit: Jerry Daws/stillfocusedmedia
Iain Martell is happy to be patient as he educates himself in the ways of professional boxing.
A former MMA star, the man from Norwich has just two outings on his pro boxing record, the second of which came in the city on Saturday as Martell disposed of Florians Strupits over four rounds, 40:36 on points.
The Ukrainian was spilling blood from his nose for three and a half rounds as Martell went to work, from all angles. Martell has the touch of a preying mantis at times – his arms raised, the hands moving around, mesmerising his opponent who has little idea of which is going to move first – and where it's going to land. It baffled Strupits at times and he did well to withstand some of the body punches while trying to breathe properly.
But 56 fights – a half century of them defeats – make men hardened and to his credit, Strupits never looked like quitting.
After his success on the MMA circuit, a fighter like Strupits is just what Martell needs to overcome boxing's puzzles if he is to achieve his ambition of making it to the top of the cruiserweight tree.
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'You have to set these things up with these guys,' said the 27-year-old Martell. 'Before, in fights, I could go in there and use my power and athleticism and blow people away, but these guys are a different level. They are educated and experienced. They have had 50 or 60 fights and for me again it is a reminder to educate myself, to get the good sparring, to keep my head down in the gym.
'My fitness felt fine and I felt composed and relaxed.'
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Martell is balancing the need to educate himself with his desire to entertain the paying public.
'I'm not one to enjoy getting a points decision in any competition,' he said. 'I like the outcome to be very clear, but I learned plenty tonight. I had four good rounds and I am happy with that.
'Personally, selfishly I would like to go out there and have a good shoot and for my opponent to go out and try and stop me and I would catch him, finish him and that would be the end of that.
But, looking at it from an educated point of view and career wise, those four rounds were perfect for me – if I could have got him out of there I would but, again, it is an education.'